Twenty-five cents (part 6)

Wow…I forgot about this series for four months. Whoops! Anyway, time to finish up the whole thing with the last batch of quarters.

Idaho

I think I have to be nice here, since my in-laws all live in Idaho, but I don’t care for this quarter. It’s design-by-committee again: the head of an eagle, a state outline, and the motto. Bonus points for the Latin, though.

Idaho’s quarter: $0.12

Nevada

Here’s another quarter where multiple design elements manage to work together. I’d have made the main image clearer, though, by ditching the flowers vining up the sides; the running horses in front of the mountains are fine by themselves.

Nevada’s quarter: $0.19

Washington

This one’s nice, combining a couple of design elements that are themed together. A salmon leaping from the water on its way to spawn, and one of the peaks of Washington’s coastal mountains. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be a specific mountain – Rainier, maybe? This quarter is nicely done.

Washington’s quarter: $0.20

Oregon

Well…I don’t know. The rendition of Crater Lake is very nice, but it seems to me that the obvious thing for Oregon would have been to depict Lewis and Clark reaching the Pacific at long last, making complete America’s exploration of the continent. I have to rate this quarter, nice as it is, as a giant missed opportunity.

Oregon’s quarter: $0.17

California

I like the idea here of depicting John Muir standing over Yosemite Valley; I just don’t like the picture all that much. Maybe it’s the giant bird flying over everything, but the sense of scale just seems way off to me on this picture, and scale can be done well even on a coin this size (see Nevada above). California has a near miss here.

California’s quarter: $0.16

Alaska

According to the Mint’s website, the final design for Alaska’s quarter was selected by Governor Sarah Palin, so, if that’s the case, maybe the job for her would be to be whoever it is who designs our currency. Hey, I may have my extremely negative opinion of Palin, but credit where due: this is a terrific quarter. What better depiction of Alaska than the rugged brute strength of a grizzly bear?

Alaska’s quarter: $0.23

And finally:

Hawaii

Ooooh, they came close here, too. I love that they use the native Hawaiian tongue alongside the image of King Kamehameha; I just think the whole coin is thrown off balance by all the blank space needed to show the Islands themselves. They were on to something here, but they didn’t quite get there.

Hawaii’s quarter: $0.18

Wrapping up, I’ve greatly enjoyed the unfolding of the Statehood Quarter program over the last ten years. (Geez, has it been that long? yes, it has….) Seeing each new quarter, wondering why each design was chosen, and sifting through every handful of loose change given me have been fun pleasures. So, from this citizen, a big thanks to the US Mint for the Statehood Quarters!

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4 Responses to Twenty-five cents (part 6)

  1. Kerry says:

    I'm glad Oregon didn't use Lewis and Clark. Those two guys have been used as a marketing tool to the point of ubiquity in this state, so I appreciate the celebration of Crater Lake. Never been there, but it's on the list.

  2. Chris says:

    How can Idaho not have a potato on it's quarter? And no slot machines on Nevada? Insanity!

  3. Roger Owen Green says:

    Actually, I agree w Kerry about Lewis & Clark. But potatoes on a copin wouldn't reproduce well, Chris; now a slot machine…

    J- collecting the 2009 coins? This week, I JUST got Puerto Rico and Guam.

  4. Mimi says:

    I also agree about Oregon.

    And, as a Washingtonian, yes, that is Mt. Rainier. I actually quibble a bit because there's a bit of a proportion issue with the GIANT spawning salmon.

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